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Every year me and my homies get together and go to the county fair.  We
didn't spend the entire weekend together this year, like you guys, 'cause
DeShawwnn had to go back to his work furlough home, but was still a fun
time.  We have all known each other since continuation school and after we
dropped out of that we met up again when we were all applying for our GED.
We've kept in touch ever since.  Last year we all met at the California
Correctional Center since Jamahl couldn't get out 'cause his girl, Shenitha
chased him down the street with a garden rake.   She was just upset about
Jamahl kicking it with her sister Juanitha. The police broke up the fight and
Jamahl was taken away for having a little bit of  weed in his pocket. But, that
was just a bunch of drama, though. Next year we plan to go to the state fair
and really do our thang. I will send some pics from that.
Death Ride July 2007

registration was well organized and they had the usual assortment of vendors. Took a quick tour of the stalls and then we headed to our
registration was well organized and they had the usual assortment of vendors. Took a quick tour of the stalls and then we headed to our
home for the event Grover Hot Springs, which is about 4 miles west of Markleeville. The camp was full of other Death Riders, as was evident
on Saturday morning around 4:30 when lights were on and people were up and about gearing up for the ride. We got up and took the "beast"
into Markleeville, parked a block from the route, and just down the street from where we were to meet fellow members of our group: Matthew
S., Eric R., Fritz G., Ricky M., Jim B., Abner K. We choose to meet under a large cutout of a bear at the Alpine Chamber of Commerce and as
were saying hi to each other someone (I believe it was Steve P) says hey look at that bear - knowing that we were meeting at the bear was
no surprise, but when he pointed to the dumpster about 50 yards away that is when we saw a little bear grubbing on some food behind a
dumpster. We got some photos, but haven't seen any yet. Well, we were burning day light (5:40 am) hanging out so off we went to Monitor.
dumpster. We got some photos, but haven't seen any yet. Well, we were burning day light (5:40 am) hanging out so off we went to Monitor.

Monitor Pass – the DR route heads south down highway 89 from Turtle Rock Park which is down hill and somewhat flat (John C. and others
will disagree about this – and say there are no flat roads in the DR it is either up, or down). At the junction of highway 89 and highway 4 we
turned left and started our ascent up to Monitor Pass (from approx 5,500 to 8,314 over 10 miles). The climb was not hard it just kept going
and going. The road was full of fellow riders looking for room to pass slower riders, but the good news is there are no cars! The sun was not
up over the hill yet, so it was still quite cold with a crystal clear sky. It was amazing to look up the road as it wound around the mountain and
see nothing but bike jerseys snaking along – about a third of the way up you can look down at the road below and up the road and see
nothing but jerseys. Oh, I shouldn’t forget to mention what is even more spectacular - the scenery - mountains everywhere! We were making
good time up the mountain and made it up to the summit and the first rest stop feeling good. The sun was on us now and we could tell it
was going to be a warm day. The first rest stop is were we made out first mistake – we were to drop gear into one bag at this rest stop, at
least that is what JC, SP and I thought, but Dave thought it was at the next stop – so as we looked around and waited for Dave (who had
ridden by), we used up valuable time. We took off after about 20 minutes. The ride down to Topaz (back side of Monitor) you have views of a
large valley on the Cal/Nev border. With 9 miles of twist and turns and a top speed of 44 mph it was a fun ride. We found Dave and dropped
our morning gear in a bag – jackets, arm warms, etc. It was 8:15 am when we departed, right at the scheduled cutoff limit on the schedule.
The ride back up from Topaz to the summit is similar to the front side – not hard, it just keeps going, and with the sun on your back it was
starting to get hot. JC and I reached the summit waiting for Dave and Steve for 5 – 10 minutes that is when we started to realize that as much
as we wanted to, we couldn’t really ride as a group and stay on schedule to make the cutoff time limits. So, JC and I left Dave to wait for Steve
to give him the keys to the “beast” and we decided to meet them at the Scossa’s rest stop on the way to Ebbett’s Pass. The ride down the
front side on Monitor was even better then the back side. The road has smoother turns, and being that we were at the tail end of the pack, the
road was relatively clear of other riders, so for us down hill bombers (Dave and I) it was even better – 10 miles of open down hill roadway.

Ebbett’s Pass – we returned to the junction of highway 4 and 89 and turned west onto 4. The road slowly climbs and winds it way up the tree
covered road which was nice (still no cars!) to the next rest stop. I had a creaky seat post that was driving me crazy, and those around me as
well. Each stroke made noise – it was a little rhythmic, but annoying. Luckily there was a repair stall at the stop and he quickly took my seat
post apart and wiped away some water and dirt – put it back together and problem solved. We regrouped and headed towards Ebbett’s
Pass – once you hit the cattle guard the real climbing starts. The first part of the climb reminded me of riding from Alpine Dam on
Bolinas/Fairfax; put seeing that this climb is 6 miles long the comparison soon ended. The hill got steeper and the temperature got warmer
and warmer. Near the summit is a beautiful lake were several bikers were drying off after a quick dip to cool down – I was tempted when I
rode by but kept moving, Steve said he was tempted as well. At the summit there was the usual mob scene with bikers milling around
looking a spot to lay their bike down for a break. We all decided before hand to skip this stop – I did garb a piece of red licorice from one of
the kids who was handing them to passing riders – big mistake. Eating licorice with a dry mouth made a gummy wade and sticky feeling in
mouth as I rode down hill in the hot air. It was hard to drink anything as the road was crowded with a line of bikes climbing back up on side of
the road and riders going various speeds down with little room to pass. So it was a lot of breaking for us bombers and not a lot fun. JC and I
arrived first and provisioned up on drinks and food while waiting for Dave and Steve. Dave arrived next, but we were not sure if Steve was
coming. We were just about to depart, when here Steve came riding in – the “Elitist” in his white and red outfit that is one of the comments
Steve received from another rider he was chatting with on the climb –some how his white with some red gear were “elitist” colors? We had a
good laugh at that one. The ride back up was more open to the sun and the day was getting hotter. John and I rode up and over the Ebbett’s
Pass for another thrilling ride down. It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt, luckily it wasn’t John or I, but an unfortunate fellow rider
who stacked up into the cliff side going around a curve. He looked banged up, but we don’t think it was anything to serious. After seeing him,
I turned it down a notch or two on the decent not wanting to become injured rider number two. We reconnected on the flat (down hill) on our
way to the lunch stop. Yet another mistake is to take place. We do a quick stop for water and have a discussion on whether we are supposed
to meet Dave here or back in Markleeville – so we rode on – NOT eating lunch! By now I probably have burned 4000 calories and was
creating a big deficit by not eating. We rode to Markleeville and started to wonder if we continued if we would make the next cutoff at

Carson Pass – We waited at Markleeville for Dave, but as time clicked away we decided we better push on if we were going to make the
cutoff time. There are a couple of little climbs up to Turtle Rock Park and then down hill to Woodfords. We arrive at Woodfords were they were
offering a good hosing down (well at least I took offer for a quick rinse), which felt really good to get some of the grime off and to cool down.
There was hardly any food, as this was a water stop, so I was on the edge and John was not feeling to well himself. We ran into Fritz at the
stop and co-worker, Paul. The four of us set off for the final ascent to Carson Pass. By now the wind was blowing pretty well and we had to
fight a headwind up the hill. Fritz was riding strong and we told him to go ahead. John, Paul and rode for about seven miles up the hill, I was
leading and things started to get weird. There was flat section (up hill flat that is), but it looked and felt like it was going down hill – I couldn’t
figure out why I was going so slow – I saw a place to turn out and did, and John and Paul followed. I looked at John and said well what do
you think? He replied that he was not feeling well at all, seeing stars and upset stomach. I told him about my down hill sensation. We both
just took a little break and contemplated what to do. Go on, or call it. We decided to that 5 passes on the Death Ride will have to wait until
next year, and told Paul that we were going back. Paul continued on, and Fritz informed me that he and Paul finished all five passes that it
Carson is not as hard as the other mountains. John and I turned around, and that is when I realized that I was pretty messed up as the road
down was really down hill, and I felt better about calling it. We rode back to Markleeville and met up at the “beast” around 4:30 were Dave
was just returning from the local store with some fix’ns for chili nachos, cookies for later and a bottle of tequila for much, much later – like
next week.

Back at the camp site we discussed the day and how we could have made the ride better for all of us. 1. Must keep moving at rest stops –
no waiting around. 2. Watch your calorie in-take, making sure you are eating enough. 3. Arrive a couple of days ahead, no so much for the
altitude, but to get a good nights sleep (none of use slept well on Friday). We all had a great time and are planning on doing the Death Ride
next year.

Here are the stats from my gps. I forgot to start it before got going so the mileage is off a little. This was a tough Century Ride! I can’t wait for
the Marin Century.

Miles: 99.16 / Riding Time 8:45:19 / Total Time approx 11 hrs /
Avg speed 11.3 / Max speed 44.3 / Total Calories 6916 /
Total Ascent 12,722 / Total Descent 12,706
. D E A T H   R I D E .